Andrew Cuomo's calibrations

nymag cuomo machievelli cover 2013-AprilWe finally got around to reading "The Albany Machiavelli," the long profile of Andrew Cuomo by Chris Smith in this week's NY Mag. Smith remarks that "Cuomo may be this country's best politician--in the interest-swapping, nut-­cutting, backroom sense--since Lyndon Baines Johnson." And there are a bunch of interesting back room bits about Cuomo's handling of issues, his relationship with the legislature, how fracking vexes the Cuomo political calculations, the potential role of Hillary Clinton in blocking in his presidential ambitions.

This section resonated with us:

So far that experiment has been a solid success, especially for Cuomo. He's been more fiscally responsible than many of his predecessors. He's boldly and forcefully delivered on progressive ideals, legalizing gay marriage and passing some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. He's been rewarded with high public-approval numbers in New York and heightened national stature. Yet there's also a cost, and a considerable irony, to Cuomo's tactics. For all his speechifying about the "us" of government, he runs a government of one, controlling decisions large and small. And the way Cuomo wins his battles--strong-­arming and horse-trading; a mastery of talking past inconvenient questions and facts--tends to antagonize enemies and allies, as in the most recent round of budget wrangling, in which he managed to chafe both liberals and business fat cats. People are afraid of him; David Paterson, as governor, once described feeling like Cuomo was lurking under the floorboards of the executive mansion, holding a saw. In politics, fear can be a highly useful tool, but it is a risky one. The governor doesn't have many friends. ...
As Cuomo looks to score a wide reelection margin in 2014, he has become New York's most successful governor since, well, the early days of Mario Cuomo. Yet he's engendered much more fear than love--an emotion the governor believes is overrated, in politics anyway. The growing turbulence will show whether he's right about the value of affection in Albany--and whether Andrew Cuomo will loom larger in history than his father.

Now a little arm chair political science: We get the sense that everyone respects Andrew Cuomo, even his enemies and detractors (maybe especially his enemies and detractors). But do people like him? You know, in talking with people it's like there's this acknowledgement that Cuomo has imposed a certain order on state politics, and the situation is no longer the embarrassing train wreck it had been. It's just that there isn't much (if any) love or passion for him. And that's a problem if you're running for president -- because as much as issues and all that stuff matter, there's also an emotional part of it for voters.

Anyway. This (here, totally stripped of its context) quote-- "They have needs, and you have needs. And your appetite has to be calibrated thusly." -- kind of us made us a feel a little bit for Sandra Lee.

Comments

i'll admit, i voted for cuomo, as i usually vote along democratic lines. and the gay marraige vote was long overdue, so at least he got that right.
but, being in state service, i can see that the fiscal and policy decisions that are driving him are politically motivated. it's truely disheartening to watch his presidential ambitions rule the law of the land. and it's just a little disgusting to me to see the services that so many hard workers of new york state try to provide to the public suffer because of politics.
never did i expect to see a worse governor than patterson. but, he's proved me wrong.
i wouldn't vote for him again, for anything, in a million years.

Corruption? Self dealing? You mean like this: Obtaining luxury seats for himself and top aides at the Buffalo Bills’ stadium in a deal to keep the state’s only NFL team from leaving or taking his gal-pal and his kid's friends on state helicopters at tax payer expense. Not surprised he has no real interest in combating corruption. Funny for an ex Attorney General


This is more double speak, here's the reality... Under Cuomo NY has experienced the demise of 39,453 NY state businesses last year, Cuomo is raiding $1.75 billion from the reserves of the off-budget State Insurance Fund (SIF). Coumo can not even hold on to his democratic majority which is in the middle of a corruption scandal and “show-me-the-money culture” and “pay-to-play politics.” He has disenfranchised the Northern and Western part of New York with his SAFE Act.. He can’t make a decision, either way with respect to fracking. New York has the highest taxes in the nation, is the most indebted state, with 33 percent of income dedicated to borrowing. It is ranked as the least "business-friendly" state in the country and if that were not bad enough NY has the distinction of being the least free state in the union and is called the “Nanny State” with politicians legislating what we eat and drink. Municipal governments from Nassau County to Yonkers to Syracuse are teetering. And during Mr. Cuomo’s time in office, unemployment has risen above the national average. 9% of the state’s 2000 population left for another state between 2000 and 2011 — the highest such figure in the nation," see the study by George Mason's libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center.

The only "progressive" thing cuomo did was gay marriage. The term progressive has lost its meaning when someone who cuts taxes for the wealthy while taking money from working class state employees. He has not done anything positive in my view. So the budget was on time. big freaking deal. Business as usual at the capitol, just a few months ealier.

People have such short memories of the dysfunction that used to exist in our state government

Impulsive,ambitious, desperate, and "peculiar". These ingredients strip lacquer and polititians.

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